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Chinese resellers line up at US Apple stores for iPad 2s

updated 09:05 pm EDT, Fri April 15, 2011

High resale price creates capitalist opportunities

The New York Times reports that ongoing iPad 2 shortages in retail stores in the city are being caused in part by Chinese resellers who camp out waiting for fresh shipments of iPads that they can purchase and resell in China, despite the presence of some Apple retailers in the country and the irony of the units being built there. One man who was prepared to camp out all day and night in anticipation of a shipment the next morning was interviewed by reporter Nick Bilton and claimed he could make up to $400 per day buying and then reselling iPad 2s, which is more than many Chinese immigrants make in a week.

The Chinese immigrants buy the iPads in the US and ship them back to China for resale. Due to the small number of legitimate Apple retailers in the country and the high demand for the iPad 2, the device is in short supply there -- creating a gray market for resellers who can sell it at much higher prices than normal retail for the country (which is about $442US for the 16GB Wi-Fi, model, up to $687 for the 64GB model; Wi-Fi + 3G models are not yet officially available in China).

Groups of Chinese immigrants camp out as much as 24 hours in advance of a new shipment, which are now coming in daily at Apple's two largest New York City stores, SoHo and the Fifth Avenue store. Apple has limited the number of iPads that an individual can buy per day to two in order to cut down on the inconvenience to other customers, but in the near future demand will continue to outstrip supply until the popular tablets are in wider supply in China. [via The New York Times]

by MacNN Staff




  1. devopro

    Joined: Dec 1969


    China's normal retail price is not $442 USD

    What? a first gen ipad costs 3800 RMB which is $582USD- that is the retail price for mainland China (before clearance). After the first week of the ipad 2 launch, the ipad 2(16GB/wifi) was selling for 7000RMB which is 1072USD.
    Official Apple products in China cost more than in the US and most other countries because factory tax here is so high.

    grey market ipad 1s cost 5000RMB when they were shipped from the US before their release and grey market ipad 2s now cost 5000RMB in a shop. I looked at one the other day in xinjiekou. the Chinese price for the ipad 2 when it is released here is prob gonna be 3800RMB.

    There are only a few official retailers but one retailer will have about 10 stores in one large city.

  1. SockRolid

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Huge opportunity for Apple

    Apple hasn't even scratched the surface of the retail market in China. It's obvious that they should build more stores throughout the country.

    I wonder if Lenovo's Chairman, Liu Chuanzhi, regrets saying this:

    "We are lucky that Steve Jobs has such a bad temper and doesn't care about China. If Apple were to spend the same effort on the Chinese consumer as we do, we would be in trouble."

    Trouble is right around the corner, Mr. Liu.

  1. charlituna

    Joined: Dec 1969


    always the limit

    it has been two per day since the launch.

    That said, I am shocked that the NYPD hasn't put the nix on those overnight camp outs as a public nuisance. Regardless of who is in line.

    And I really wish at this point they would go back to the wait list thing they used to do. Yes I know it was fraught with problems due to walk ins pissed they couldn't buy, folks not picking up and then claiming they didn't get the email but it was better than nothing even with the problems. And if they moved to 'reservations only, no walkins' those resellers would have to run some hoops to get stock and might give up or at least tone down.

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